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'American Idol' recap: Dalton Rapattoni ousted, leaving Trent Harmon and La'Porsha Renae "the closest" finale in 'Idol' history


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/07/2016 

American Idol ousted Dalton Rapattoni and determined its farewell season's Top 2 finalists during Wednesday night's broadcast on Fox.

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After receiving the lowest amount of home viewer votes following last week's performance show, America sent, Dalton, a 19-year-old vocal coach from Dallas TX, home following a performance of what would have been his Idol coronation song called "Strike a Match." Dalton had landed in the bottom two once before.

"It's been amazing... When you join a competition like this, you want to find success but you don't think you'll find yourself. I've learned a lot not only as an artist but as a human being," Dalton said following his ouster.

The elimination announcement declared Trent Harmon, a 25-year-old waiter from Amory, MS, and La'Porsha Renae, a 22-year-old call representative from McComb, MS, Season 15's Top 2 finale contenders.

Dalton only got to participate in the night's first round of competition, which allowed each Top 3 artist to sing the coronation song written and produced just for them -- the song that will be the winner's first single. "Strike a Match" had an exciting punk-rock feel to it.

Trent's coronation song was called "Falling," while La'Porsha's single was entitled "Battles." There was no feedback from the judges in this round.

For Round 2, Trent and La'Porsha each performed a song selected for them by American Idol creator Simon Fuller.

Trent sang "If You Don't Know Me By Now." Keith Urban said it's been extraordinary to watch how far he's come and the song was an amazing choice for him. The judges agreed Trent gave La'Porsha a real run for her money and it's probably going to be the closest race in Idol history. Harry pointed out that it's clear who Trent is as an artist now and he's an incredible vocalist.

La'Porsha sang "A House Is Not a Home." Jennifer said it was "so beautiful," and Harry appreciated the fact she never overdid the lyrics and always kept a song's meaning in the realm of believability. Harry also noted the song was extremely complex from a vocal standpoint yet she still managed to move him. Keith confessed he doesn't smoke cigarettes but felt the urge to relax and smoke one after her performance.

Host Ryan Seacrest demanded the judges reveal which artist might've had an edge over the other, and Jennifer said La'Porsha by the slightest amount.

For Round 2, the two singers gave an encore performance of a song they had already performed on American Idol.

Trent wowed again with "Chandelier" by Sia. The judges reiterated it was going to be the hardest decision in American Idol history for voters. However, Keith admitted Trent might've just made it easy on America with that amazing performance. Keith was blown away by Trent's smooth transitions from his head to chest voice. Jennifer then insisted she knew all along Trent would make the Final 2 because he's so special and deserves to win.

La'Porsha then belted out her memorable rendition of "Diamonds" by Rihanna. Keith said he had two expert skiers sliding down the Black Diamond slope because they're both that incredible. Jennifer just gushed about how she can't wait to see La'Porsha perform live in her tour because she always sings with such control yet so much passion as well. Keith was also utterly impressed by La'Porsha.

Based on the audience's reaction, Trent might've edged out La'Porsha in the third round.

American Idol's fifteenth-season grand finale airs Thursday night from 8-10PM ET/PT on Fox. Not only will the final winner of the Idol franchise be crowned, but all of the show's former winners will return to perform in addition to many standout contestants. Former judges will also make an appearance.


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